With cycling season on the horizon in Ontario, this is a cue for businesses to think about how to welcome cyclists to their business this year. For business owners on the fence about the benefits of cycle tourism, the incentive to be bike-friendly is huge: cycle tourism creates an economic impact of more than $500 million annually, or nearly 2 per cent of total visitor spending in Ontario. *Cycle Tourism Report 2016-2019
Enter Ontario by Bike, an organization committed to fostering the cycle community in Ontario, and assisting regional and local destination partners and tourism businesses to promote and grow the cycle tourism sector in Ontario. If the cycling world seems strange and foreign to you, Ontario by Bike is on your side to help you become more bicycle friendly and get your share of a $500 million pie.
What is Ontario by Bike, Anyway?
A non-profit organization, Ontario by Bike supports the growth of cycle tourism in Ontario through certification programs and promotion of bicycle friendly routes and businesses to cyclists. The Ontario by Bike Network offers information to inspire visitors and residents to explore by bike, and provides resources with places to cycle, multi-day itineraries and stops at certified bicycle friendly businesses.
For businesses, Ontario by Bike has a bike-friendly certification process that highlights your business as being bicycle friendly for cyclists. Also, registering your business with Ontario by Bike is FREE!
Benefits of Membership
Joining Ontario by Bike helps broaden your marketing reach to a new and burgeoning market in Ontario – cyclists. Members have access to participants’ tool kits tailored to your product or sector to provide insight into the cycle tourism market. Registered businesses will receive access to the industry newsletter and gain a better overall understanding of cycle tourism and tourists in the region.
Ontario by Bike also provides marketing to certified members, with numerous benefits, including:
Customized business listings on the Ontario by Bike website
Use the Ontario by Bike digital logo and window decals to highlight readiness for cyclists
Listing on the Ontario by Bike website
Possibility of being featured in consumer newsletters
Possibility of being featured on social media posts
Network with other bicycle friendly locations in your area
Improve SEO visibility through the Ontario by Bike online links to business
Who can Join Ontario by Bike?
There are specific minimum requirements for each tourism sector (ie. Accommodations, food services, tourist attractions) that outline what services must be available to cyclists in order to quality for membership. Read the minimum requirements here.
Sign Me Up! I Want to Be Bike Friendly
Interested in learning more about joining Ontario by Bike? Visit their website here and register online as a bicycle-friendly business. Review the certification criteria for your business sector to make sure you comply with minimum requirements and follow the remaining steps.
Once you’ve completed the online registration process you will receive a Welcome Package in the mail that includes:
Participants Tool Kit
Regional Cycling Resource
Ontario by Bike rack cards
Ontario by Bike Window Decal
Marketing and administrative correspondence
Then get ready to welcome cyclists!